Friday, December 23, 2011

Author Journalist Christopher Hitchens, Another View

My mentor and former boss Anil Siqueira points to another article on Christopher Hitchens, this time by Fr. Raymond J. de Souza on the blog "Curious Presbyterian". Curious Presbyterian? Why? Maybe, an anti-view as they come after a person's death.

On hindsight, what I don't approve about Hitchens is his criticism of Mother Theresa. Nobody can dispute the selfless lady for the work she has initiated in India and still being carried out by her sisterhood. But those are my own personal views. His other views were on the human side and therefore humanist and philanthropic. That only goes to state the controversial nature of the man.

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David Raphael Israel said...

Thanks for the pointer, John.  Some of this is perhaps well said (e.g.):
<< For many of Hitchens’ fellow journalists, the virtuosity of his
brilliant writing and bracing conversation earned him a pass on the
hatred.  But hatred it remained.  His commercial genius was to harbour
hatreds sufficiently vast and varied that a lucrative constituency could
be found to relish all of them.>>

However, I find the writer's assessment a bit too black-&-white, a bit too unforgiving.  For another take on HItchens, did you see Salil Tripathi's obituary?  It's here:

Musing on de Souza's view, I can't help but think that Hitchens is being taken, in a sense, too literally.  His ostensible "hatreds" are (from one point of view) more colorful effect than literal affect, more bark than bite.  But God (they say) knows best.


John P Matthew said...

Hi David,

I have seen Salil's article.

I agree that hitchen's writing is more bark than bite and and he deliberately engaged in polemics to challenge the held beliefs of certain sections of people. However, must admire his guts to remain steadfast in his views.

How are you? Hope all goes well.